In July we joined Big Art (Arthur's Father), and Marji (Arthur's wicked stepmother) for a delightful trip to Switzerland with all of their children, spouses, and grandchildren. We based ourselves in Meiringen, a delightful village south of Luzern. Over the next days and weeks I will share my journal, photographs, and other goodies from our trip.

Day 6 - 18 Juli - Tuesday in Zürich and Meiringen

The night was long, noisy, and insufferably hot, sleep being difficult and light at best. We get up and have breakfast in the hotel. There were excellent breads. The table next to us has some Swiss attempting to teach a couple of Italians German.

We take the bus to the Bahnhof, and then wander to find the S6 to Klotten and the airport. The train is ill equipped to handle airport traffic. The next challenge, having reached the airport, is to find the car rental area. Once there, the whole family is quickly there and there are reunions all around. Everyone is tired since they have just arrived, although Patty and Dan arrived the day prior.

It takes about an hour to get all of the cars (Robert's was changed on him, so he has to go to another agency). We all agree to meet at the Möwenpik (hotel) parking lot. Marji and Art, however, have difficulties in leaving the lot, and then find themselves parked at a different Mövenpik. In the meanwhile, we're all waiting for them. The kids are waiting in the hotel lobby so I buy them all drinks so that they're not seen as loitering. Finally, we find Art and Marji, and we set out as a convoy.

Coördinating between the signage (which on Swiss highways is really quite difficult), the map (there are two versions, and each have different place names) and my faint knowledge of the topography soon adds up to being lost. I soon see that we are almost at the German border, so at Effigen I have us cut south and we drive through a most beautiful lower Alpine valley (we have no idea of the splendors that await us) aiming for Aarau and the A1 Autobahn, which is soon done.

We travel through Luzern to Brienz and over the pass to Meiringen, a delightful town. We are taken to our home Trudi and Peter Luithold, 27 Kirchgaße. It is a lovely apartment on the first floor of their chalet, with a sleeping room, and a living-dining room with a small kitchen and bath. Quaint!

We walk downtown and look around; have lunch (sandwiches), check out stores and go home. On the way we look at the church (St. Michael's, reformed). Some of the old frescoes remain, but little else. It is, by 18th century design, a preaching hall. There is also a small chapel (with fading frescoes as well) that is little more than a meeting room. Arthur is fascinated with the Friedhof. We finally go home, and I nap.

We go out for dinner, a small place with noisy young people. It's a schnitzel night. After dinner we walk around. There is a town festival every Wednesday evening. There's rock-climbing, melted raclette on bread, alpenhorns, etc. So we just walk around, and find the Catholic Church ­ new and slightly odd. We look at some of the newer homes, which are quite interesting and very contemporary.

We run into Dan, Tim, and their families at the hotel ­ they are having ice cream with their hosts, and we join them, for the first of several eisen at this particular hotel. It begins to rain, so we run home sans umbrella, and then go immediately to bed.

MTH 8/18/07
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